Lens of canon: Canon Camera Lenses | SIGMA Photo

Best Canon Prime Lenses for Beginners and Pros

One of the major benefits of being a Canon shooter is the incredible lens selection available for Canon cameras. In my opinion, while Canon falls behind in the features race to companies like Sony and Nikon, their lens selection is far superior to the likes of Sony and Nikon (don’t talk to me about Leica…) That’s why I haven’t abandoned the Canon ecosystem for the greener pastures of those other guys. If you’re wondering which professional level prime lenses you should get first, this article is for you!  We’ll separate our list of the best canon prime lenses into the following buckets:

  • Best Canon Prime Lenses for Beginners
  • Best Canon Prime Lenses for Pros

Best Canon Prime Lenses for Beginners

When starting out in photography, there’s so much to learn: rules of composition, the exposure triangle, how to use and modify light etc. Additionally, there’s the whole discussion of equipment that can make you go cross eyed! Learning which lenses you should buy and how you should use them can take a lot of time. Thankfully, in this post you’ll learn what prime lenses you should buy for your Canon camera when starting out.

When I started out in photography, my wife bought me a Canon T3 with a kit lens. While the 18-55mm kit lens that came with my T3 was very versatile and just fine for getting started, I quickly learned that in order to take the kinds of photos I was dreaming of (something with creamy bokeh, great color, and edge to edge sharpness) I’d need some better lenses. In that mindset, I’ll recommend the three prime lenses I think every Canon shooter should buy when starting out. These lenses are great to get that professional feel without breaking your bank!

The Nifty 50 – Canon 50mm 1.8

[Related Reading: The Ultimate Portrait Kit For Canon | Must Have Lenses for Portrait Photography]

The Canon 50mm 1.8 is often referred to as “the nifty 50” for a good reason. It’s the best lens you can buy for $125, period. On a crop sensor it’s more like an 85mm lens on a full frame camera, but for the money you can’t beat it. It takes beautiful images with plenty of sharpness and enough bokeh to make you feel like a rockstar. The build quality isn’t that great, but you’re getting started so I wouldn’t worry about that at this point. If you’ve never taken photos with a prime lens with a wide aperture before, you’re never going to go back. More light + more bokeh = more fun! When you’re ready to upgrade, the Canon 50 1.4 is only $349 and gives you a little bit more of everything. It’s well built, gives you some extra light and beautiful bokeh.

  • Nice bokeh
  • Great price
  • Extra light
  • Small
  • Light weight
  • Not as sharp as it could be
  • Not as much bokeh as it’s f/1.2 cousin (but you probably don’t need that anyway)
  • A little loud when focusing
  • Not the best build quality
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Canon EF-S 35mm f2.

8 Macro


The Canon EF-S 35mm 2.8 Macro is designed specifically for crop sensor cameras (which is what you most likely have). While it doesn’t have as wide open an aperture as the 50mm 1.8, it makes up for a lack of light input by providing macro capabilities. Do you like those pictures of bees really close up? That’s macro! With this lens you can get those close detail shots you’ve seen of wedding rings, flowers, or products like watches and jewelry. It also has image stabilization, so if your hands are a bit shaky or you want to shoot at lower shutter speeds, you can do it with this lens. Moreover, this lens falls rights in that middle focal range. You might call this one the goldilocks lens—it’s not too close and not too far. It’s a very versatile lens that you can use in almost any situation from street photography to portraits. While it’s not quite wide enough for most landscape work, or tight enough for headshots, it’s ideal if you’re just starting out and want to practice a little bit of everything. Finally, while it’s not as affordable as the nifty 50, at $299, it’s really reasonable. If the 50mm 1.8 wasn’t such a great lens overall, this is the prime lens that I’d recommend you get first.

  • Very versatile
  • Sharp enough to cut a steak
  • Great price
  • Macro for close up shots
  • Light weight
  • Image stabilization
  • Only 2.8 aperture
  • Build quality isn’t great
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Canon EF 85mm 1.8

[Related Reading: Top 5 Must Have Fujifilm X Lenses]

The Canon 85 1.8 is one of my all-time favorite lenses. At only $369 this thing is a steal for the quality of the images it produces. It’s so good that I sold my much more expensive 85mm in favor of this one. I love this lens because it’s lightweight, well built for a sub-$400 lens, and takes incredible images with excellent detail and smooth bokeh. If you’re looking to get into portrait work or headshots, you won’t go wrong with this lens. It’s a bit tight on a crop sensor camera (roughly equivalent to a 135mm lens on full frame), but if you’re ready to start taking photos of subjects that are a little farther away, or want to create some mind blowing portraits, this is the lens you’ll want first.

  • Gorgeous bokeh
  • Very sharp!
  • Great price
  • Good build quality for the price
  • Quick auto-focus
  • “Only” 1.8 aperture.
  • There’s not many negatives with this lens for the price.
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Each of these lenses would provide an excellent foundation for a burgeoning Canon photographer. But remember that a camera and lens isn’t going to create great photos for you. They’re tools, not visionaries. When I started out, I got a few affordable lenses and spent most of my money on great educational resources from SLR Lounge. To learn more about how to take and edit amazing photos, check out our educational resources.

Best Canon Prime Lenses for Pros

In this article I’ll provide my recommendations for the prime Canon DSLR lenses you should get if you’re a burgeoning professional photographer looking to create incredible photos with the best equipment. I’ll write another article in the future for Canon mirrorless, so if you’re wondering where the Canon RF 50 1.2 lens is in this article, don’t worry. It’ll be in a future article.

Canon EF 50mm 1.2 L


The Canon EF 50mm 1.2 L is one the first professional level prime lenses I bought and I still use it almost every day. One of the “Best Lenses for Wedding Photography,” the lens is actually not as sharp wide open as one might hope. It doesn’t have image stabilization or some other fancy feature. What it does have though is character, lots and lots of character. Wide open, the bokeh from this lens is sublime. The look of images taken with this lens is also really pleasing to the eye. It’s hard to describe but you can see it in photos. Stopped down to f/4 and beyond and it’s plenty sharp for mid-range portraits, landscapes, or whatever you can think  to use this lens for. One of the best features of this lens is the quality of its lens flare. As you can see in the image below, it creates gorgeous light flares right in camera.


  • Gorgeous Bokeh
  • Character
  • Well built
  • Quiet Auto-Focus
  • Beautiful lens flare
  • Small compared to other pro-level prime lenses
  • Weather-sealed


  • A bit too soft at wider apertures
  • Auto focus could be faster

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Sigma 35 1.4 DG HSM Art


The Sigma 35 1.4 ART is the best 35mm lens I’ve used. It’s sharp, it takes gorgeous photos (character), and it’s cheap compared to the competition. At $699, its hard to beat this lens even for professional use. It also had very little distortion. So while it’s wide, you can take a portrait with this lens if you need to. You can also put your subject in the outside edges of the frame without them warping. The auto focus on the Sigma 35 is fast and extremely quiet. (While I haven’t used it yet, I’ve heard the new Tamron SP 35 1.4 is pretty incredible. Click here to read our latest review.)


  • Excellent sharpness
  • Lots of character
  • Quiet auto focus
  • Well built
  • Minimal distortion


  • No weather sealing
  • Some people have complained about inconsistent auto focus (I haven’t had an issues)

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Canon EF 85mm 1.2 L II

The Canon 85 1.2 L is one of this most incredible lenses I’ve ever used. If you like bokeh, this lens is the undisputed master of bokeh. I love almost every photo I’ve taken with this lens. It’s plenty sharp wide open. The images this lens produces are also incredibly unique. For portraits, you’d be hard pressed to find a better lens. The auto focus can be a bit slow, but it’s as quiet as a whisper and very accurate. But for all the goodness of this lens, you’re going to pay a hefty price ($1899). Is it worth it? That depends what your budget is, and how badly you want the absolute best. If you can’t afford this lens, you could settle for something like the Canon EF 85 1.8, a lens I still use and love.


  • Unreal bokeh
  • Sharp
  • Quiet auto focus
  • Unique look
  • Solid build quality


  • Slow auto focus compared to other lenses
  • Expensive

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With each of these lenses you get something different to add to your creative toolbox. If you’re getting started doing professional work, and you shoot Canon, these are the prime lenses I’d recommend starting with. Of course there are so many other options out there. If you haven’t shot with any professional prime lenses yet, I’d recommend that you rent a few and give them a whirl. The lenses I recommended above can help you open the door to creative possibilities. But of course, without the skills to unlock the potential of these lenses, they are just tools in the box. The most important thing you can do is educate yourself! For that, I shamelessly recommend the SLR Lounge Workshops.

Best EF-mount zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs

Looking for the ultimate in shooting flexibility? We’ve put together a complete guide to the best EF-mount zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs.

With the best EF-mount zoom lenses, you and your Canon DSLR can be prepared for any eventuality. A zoom lens is fantastic for shooting situations when you don’t know what to expect. Rather than being restricted to the single perspective of a prime lens, or having to dive frantically into your bag to swap between them, having a single zoom lets you react in seconds to a scene as it unfolds. Zoom lenses have a reputation for being inferior to primes, but let’s put it this way – there’s a reason so many professional photographers stick religiously to a 70-200mm f/2.8

This also means there are many more cost-effective options open to you if you’re willing to shop on the second-hand market. After all, the professional lenses of a few years ago are the bargain lenses of 2023, and you can pick up fantastic zooms that pro photographers have been using within the past few years at a fraction of the cost – particularly now so many have migrated to mirrorless and Canon’s EOS R system. In this guide to the best EF-mount zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs, we’ve included a mix of lenses you can buy new, and some that offer tremendous value on the second-hand market.

Our picks are based on the experience of our technical review team, who have tested a huge number of Canon EF-mount zoom lenses over the years. If you’re looking for a camera as well as a lens, we have a useful guide to the best Canon DSLRs you can buy, all of which will work well with the lenses we’ve listed here. Alternatively, if you’re feeling like getting stuck into some cutting-edge tech, check out our run-down of the best Canon mirrorless cameras too.

How to choose an EF-mount zoom lens

When choosing a zoom lens, you’ll need to consider first what type of Canon DSLR camera you’ve got.
If it’s one with a full-frame sensor, such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, or the Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R models, then the focal length will be the same as is written on the lens.

However, if you’re shooting with an APS-C camera, such as the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EOS 1300D or the Canon EOS 760D, then you need to take into account the ‘crop factor’. This refers to how the smaller sensor size affects the effective focal length of the lens. With Canon cameras, this crop factor equates to 1.6x the length written on the lens. That means, for example, the equivalent focal length of the standard 18-55mm kit lens supplied with many entry-level APS-C format cameras will actually give you a 28-88mm equivalent focal range.

This stuff can be tricky to get your head around, so see our guide to APS-C versus full-frame if you need a more detailed explainer.

What type of zoom?

Next, think about what kind of zoom lens you want. For this article, we have separated the options into standard and telephoto zoom lenses.

Standard zooms are great as ‘everyday’ options, giving you a range from wide-angle to short telephoto, and are useful for a wide range of situations.

On the other hand, telephoto lenses are great for sports, action, or wildlife – basically for any subject where you can’t get particularly close to the subject.

So, without further ado, here are our picks for the current best EF-mount zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs…

Best standard EF-mount zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs

First up, we’re covering all the best EF-mount zoom lenses that cover a standard focal range. When we say ‘standard’, we’re generally referring to a focal range between about 35mm and 75mm, with a bit of wiggle-room on either side. A standard focal length provides a very naturalistic perspective – 50mm, the ur-example of a standard lens, gives about the same field of view as a human eye.

As such, standard lenses are hugely useful for reportage and documentary photography – essentially any genre where you want your subject to look as it is. A standard zoom gives you a little play within this framework, allowing you close in or back out a little as the situation requires. Here are our favourite standard zoom lenses for Canon EF-mount DSLRs.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM.

At a glance:

  • For: APS-C
  • Equivalent focal length: 27.2-88mm
  • Street price: $879 / £859

At first glance, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM may sound a bit like a standard kit lens but look closer and it reveals itself to be something much more interesting. It’s an APS-C lens for Canon’s EF-S DSLRs, meaning the 17-55mm nominal focal length effectively translates to 27.2-88mm. This, combined with the constant f/2.8 aperture running right the way through the focal range, means this lens functions as a budget equivalent of a 24-70mm f/2.8, one of the most popular lens formats among professional photographers and photojournalists.

Is it as sharp as one of those lenses? Of course not – the best ones routinely run up price tags well into the thousands. But it is a highly capable lens for the price, and balances well on a smaller Canon APS-C DSLR. The stabilisation system is decently effective, allowing you to use shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower hand-held without causing image blur due to camera shake. This is one of the most generally useful lenses around for Canon’s APS-C DSLRs, and any owner of such a camera should seriously consider making room for it it in their kit bag.


  • Good budget equivalent of a professional standard
  • Effective stabilisation system
  • Constant f/2. 8 aperture


  • Barrel not fully metal
  • Hood and pouch not included

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC

At a glance:

  • For: APS-C
  • Equivalent focal length: 28.8mm-56mm
  • Street price: $699 / £687

Normally one of the first things sacrificed to give a lens some zoom capability is the maximum aperture, which is why the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC is such a breath of fresh air. Designed for APS-C Canon DSLRs, it manages a constant aperture of f/1.8 right the way through its zoom range, meaning you aren’t restricted to a wide-angle perspective once the light gets low.

The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC weighs 810g, which while not exactly light, is much less heavy than you would expect a lens with an f/1.8 constant aperture to be. In performance it generally meets and exceeds the standard you’d expect for a lens at this price, delivering pretty premium sharpness even when used to the full extent of that f/1. 8 aperture. It’s not the broadest zoom in the world, even in the realm of standard lenses, but it makes for a solid general-purpose street and documentary shooter with its equivalent 28.8mm-56mm range.


  • Handy f/1.8 aperture
  • Do-everything focal range
  • Very sharp even wide open


  • APS-C only
  • Restrictive zoom range

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Street price: $1,299 / £1,389

Falling within Canon’s professional ‘L’ series of lenses, the 24-105mm gives you a lot of flexibility in one package. It’s a great ‘walk around’ lens for full-frame cameras, as well as being useful for professionals shooting subjects such as wedding and events. At the wide-angle end of the lens, you have a focal length suitable for landscapes and so on, while at the 105mm end, portraits, still life and more is within reach.

On the downside, the maximum constant aperture of f/4 is not perfectly suited to low-light photography, however, the IS (image stabilisation) does help. Still, if you mainly shoot in good light and want the added reach that the 105mm gives you, it might be a better choice than Canon’s other standard telephoto option. In our review we found a lot to praise about this lens, especially the effective stabilisation system. It’s not a huge sharpness upgrade over previous versions, but it does deliver superior images.


  • Better reach than most standard zooms
  • Good vignetting control
  • Effective stabilisation


  • f/4 is restrictive
  • Still quite costly

Read our Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Review

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Street price: $1,899 / £1,999

Here we have the best compromise for full-frame shooters when it comes to flexibility of focal length and wide aperture. Canon also has a 24-70mm f/4 lens, which is available for less than half the price of the f/2.8 version, which is something to consider if you don’t often shoot in low light. The 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM is favoured by professionals and enthusiasts alike, giving you a great option for landscapes, portraits and subjects in between.


  • Superb image quality
  • Useful standard focal range


  • Pro-level price tag

Best telephoto EF-mount zoom lenses for Canon DSLRs

A telephoto zoom is the ideal way to tackle a broad range of difficult subjects that don’t let you get too close. Most commonly favoured by those who shoot wildlife or sports photography, telephoto lenses tend to be big, unwieldy and expensive, but allow you to capture images it simply isn’t possible to get any other way. While professional wildlife photographers will favour prime lenses for their unmatched image quality, don’t count out zooms, as many still offer outstanding sharpness. Here are our favourite telephoto zooms for Canon EF-mount.

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM S

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Street price: $1,089 / £849

It’s hard to argue with a zoom range this expansive – and the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM S delivers the goods in terms of imaging performance as well. We took it out for a motorsports-shooting field test, accompanied by a stalwart Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR, and found it to deliver spectacular images, with a capable AF system that nailed the shot time and again. It’s a big lens, with an zoom mechanism that demands quite a bit of the user to physically operate – a by-product of having to manipulate an optical construction of 24 elements in 16 groups.

This is an outdoors lens, and Sigma has borne that in mind when putting it together. The construction is hardy, and the big front element is well-protected with oil-repellent coatings – you can attach 105mm thread filters to protect it if you want, though these do come at a pretty price. And one thing you’ll also probably want is one of the best monopods, as believe us, this is not a light lens.


  • Fantastically optimised for sports
  • Tough and dirt-resistant
  • Autofocus does well


  • Very heavy
  • Requires accessories to work at its best

Read our Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM S field test

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM A

Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 DC HSM A

At a glance:

  • For: APS-C
  • Equivalent focal length: 80-160mm
  • Street price: $999 / £949

This lens is from Sigma’s superb ‘Art’ lens category. That means you get super-fine image quality from this APS-C telephoto lens, which covers a range of classic focal lengths in one package. What’s more, you get a super wide aperture – which, again, is very unusual for a zoom lens, especially a telephoto zoom. It’s quite a big lens, but it certainly takes up less room in your bag than three equivalent prime lenses. In our review, we found a lot to like about this clever lens, included the 9-bladed aperture that makes for silky-smooth bokeh. In our exacting optical tests, the lens performed very well indeed.


  • Excellent image quality for the price
  • Useful f/1.8 aperture
  • Optimised for APS-C


  • On the hefty side
  • And a little front-heavy

Read our Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM | A Review

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Street price: $2,099/ £2,099

The latest generation of Canon’s workhorse 70-200mm lens, the Mark III version is extensively weather-sealed for outdoor use. Its front and rear elements are fluorine-coated to repel dust and be easy to clean, and internally, the construction uses fluorite and UD optics. This ensures exactly the level of sharpness and detail that Canon-using pros have come to expect. Elsewhere, you get a 3.5-stop image stabiliser, a ring-type USM motor for quick and silent autofocusing, and of course, that constant f/2.8 aperture running right through the zoom range. Built to exacting professional standards, this is a lens that is made for many years’ use. Buy and be confident.


  • Comprehensively featured
  • Built to last
  • Excellent image quality


  • Has held its price

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Street price: $1,499 / £1,619

If you can’t quite stretch to the high asking price of the 70-200mm f/2.8L lens, there is another alternative. The 70-200mm f/4 still falls into Canon’s “professional” L-series of lenses, but as a trade-off you get a narrower maximum aperture. An aperture of f/4 is still wide enough for many subjects, though super low light shooting might present a bit of a struggle.


  • Cheaper than professional version
  • Stabilisation included


  • Not as strong in low light

Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2

Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 mid-test. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Street price: $1,199 / £1,199

Using a third-party lens is a great way to save money when compared to Canon’s proprietary optics. It doesn’t have to mean compromising on image quality either, as this second generation lens from Tamron has proved. Here we’ve got a 4-stop, three-mode image stabilisation (IS) system, which helps to deliver excellent image quality. You get a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, which makes it great for low-light shooting, too. In our review, we were very impressed with how well this lens performs at its price, and having weather sealing built-in makes it an extra-tempting package.


  • Impressive stabilisation system
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Weather sealed


  • A little soft at the wide end
  • Zoom ring not that smooth

Read our Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Review

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM

EF lenses like the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM can be adapted to RF cameras like the EOS R10. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Price: $599 / £599

With the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM, Canon has made a significant and much-needed update to its mid-range ‘telezoom’. Most importantly, it has vastly improved the autofocus compared to the previous version, and up-rated the image stabilisation too. This means that it will deliver more ‘keepers’, either when shooting moving subjects, or hand-held in marginal light. This, in turn, means you can get the most from the lens’ very decent optics. It also offers good value for money, however, if you want a lens hood, this is an optional extra.


  • Excellent autofocus
  • Improved stabilisation
  • Cheap for a telezoom


  • Lens hood not included
  • f/4 will be restrictive for some

Read our Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM Review

Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

At a glance:

  • For: Full-frame
  • Street price: $799 / £699

This zoom gives you a long focal length which makes it great for far-off subjects, such as sports, action and wildlife. The wider angle also makes it suitable for weddings, events and some portraits. With optical image stabilisation, a nine-bladed diaphragm, a large rubberised zoom ring and zoom lock that engages at 100mm, it comes with all the features you’d look for in a high-quality tele zoom. It offers a strong optical performance across a good telephoto range at a comparatively affordable price.


  • Useful zoom range
  • Very good value for money
  • Lighter than many comparable lenses


  • No tripod collar
  • Not weather sealed

Are there any other EF or EF-S compatible best zoom lenses that you swear by? Let us know!

Further reading

Best Canon EF lenses to buy in 2022

The eight best DSLR lenses you can buy from third-party manufacturers

AP readers share their favourite lenses

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Best Cameras and Lenses for Beginners

Best Cameras and Lenses for Beginners – Canon Ireland


Three young Canon Ambassadors from different genres discuss the best cameras and lenses for beginning photographers and students who want to work in these genres .

To shoot like a pro, you need the right gear. However, with so many different cameras and lenses available on the market as a result of the rapid development of technology, it can be difficult to know which equipment is best for your purposes.

Whether you’re a college graduate starting out in your field, a passionate amateur looking to expand your arsenal of gear, or a professional looking to make it big, the first thing to think about is the genre of photography you want to work in. Documentary photographers need to remain inconspicuous in different shooting scenarios, so their equipment will differ from what is best suited to a fashion photographer shooting professional models in a studio.

Another important factor is the camera’s movie capabilities. “This is becoming more and more important when choosing equipment,” says Mike Burnhill, Canon Europe Product Specialist. “Video has become a key social media content, and the ability to create not only photos, but also videos will open up many new opportunities for you in the photography industry.

In this article, three young professional photographers from different genres and from different backgrounds talk about the Canon cameras and lenses they use and their benefits for their chosen genre of photography. They are Nigerian fashion and portrait photographer Emmanuel Oyeleke, German-Russian documentary photographer Nanna Heitmann and Austrian photographer Ingo Leitner, who works as a duet with his wife at Carmen and Ingo in the genre of wedding photography. And our expert Mike Burnhill will supplement their words with useful technical information.

Best equipment for fashion photography

Fashion and portrait photographer Emmanuel Oyeleke says the features available on cameras

EOS R systems, such as fast and accurate

autofocus, as well as built-in image stabilization (IBIS), help fashion photographers to be creative. Taken on camera

Canon EOS R5 with lens

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2. 8L III USM at 28mm, 1/125 sec, f/4.5 and ISO160. © Emmanuel Oyeleke

Emmanuelle prefers to shoot fashion with prime lenses. “Now I usually shoot with the new RF primes and highly recommend them,” he says. — I use Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM, but you can choose a more budget model

EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. Taken on camera

Canon EOS R5 with lens

Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM at 1/400 sec, f/5 and ISO 400. © Emmanuel Oyeleke

Emmanuel Oyeleke, a former professional Scrabble player who fell in love with photography while traveling to tournaments around the world, won awards in 2019, including ASFA Fashion Photographer of the Year. He is self-taught – first photographing weddings (up to 3,000 guests) in his native Nigeria, after which he became a lifestyle photographer, and now regularly creates bright and expressive images for the largest fashion publications in Africa, as well as creating advertising photos for companies such as Coca- Cola and Unilever.

“I started working with the EOS R system in 2018 and it has been a real discovery for me,” he says. “It allows you not to worry about technical nuances and just provides the desired result, helping you to freely create without any restrictions.” Since the release of the Canon EOS R5 camera in 2020, he has been working with it in most cases. “The 45-megapixel image sensor stores a huge amount of information and allows you to crop the frame, while maintaining high image resolution.

If you have the budget, I would recommend the EOS R5 for fashion photography, but if you are looking for something more economical, the EOS R6 is a great choice as it offers all the same but at a lower resolution.”

“While fashion photography is primarily about looks and clothing, when the viewer looks at the photo, it is primarily the face of the model that they are looking at, so tracking the faces and eyes of the subject on the EOS R5 and EOS R6 will be extremely helpful,” adds Mike Burnhill. “Other features useful for fashion photography include a tilt-adjustable touch screen that allows you to shoot from unusual angles for interesting and dynamic photos.”

Emmanuelle prefers Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM and RF 85mm F1.2L USM lenses, which she recommends to fashion photography students. “They offer high definition, excellent build quality and superb quality—they are worthy devices that will serve you well for many years,” he notes.

“These lenses are great for both full-length shots and expressive portraits,” agrees Mike. “The alternative would be zoom lenses such as the RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, which can be mounted via an adapter.”

The best equipment for documentary photography

Canon EOS R cameras let you shoot at high ISOs with minimal noise. Documentary photographer Nanna Heitmann considers this an important aspect of her work as it allows her to shoot confidently even in dim light. Here she captured two volunteers fighting a forest fire in Siberia in 2021. Taken on camera

Canon EOS R5 with lens

Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM at 1/100 sec, f/1.8 and ISO 8000. © Nanna Heitmann/Magnum Photos

Nanna regularly uses the silent shooting feature of the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R to remain discreet while working. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM lens at 1/1600 sec, f/2.8 and ISO200. © Nanna Heitmann/Magnum Photos

Documentary photographer Nanna Heitmann was born in Germany in 1994 and bought her first digital SLR camera, a Canon EOS 400D (new generation now available: Canon EOS 850D), when she was 14 years old. She was inspired by photographs she saw in issues of National Geographic and ended up studying photojournalism and documentary photography at the Hannover University of Applied Arts. Her credits include publications in National Geographic, TIME Magazine and de Volkskrant. In 2019year she was invited to an internship at the Magnum agency.

Nanna has been involved in long-term projects in recent years, such as documenting the community of Germany’s last coal mine, and working with Canon EOS R and Canon EOS R5 cameras. “I used to work with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, but now I love working with Canon mirrorless cameras,” she says. “When you carry a bag of equipment all day long, it’s much more convenient to work with lighter cameras.”

Nanna says the innovations in the EOS R and EOS R5, such as low-light autofocus down to -6EV, help a lot with documentaries. “Low-light sensitivity is very important when shooting in low light without a flash, and the ability to operate with a silent shutter helps to remain unobtrusive,” she says. “For documentary students, I would recommend both the EOS R and the EOS R5.”

For those on a slightly tighter budget, another EOS R system camera is the EOS RP. “This is a compact and lightweight camera that offers a wide range of features, including silent shooting mode, and (like other models of the EOS R system) is fully compatible with EF lenses,” says Mike.

“If the EOS R6 is within your budget, its excellent low-light performance means you can work in a variety of lighting conditions, while face and eye tracking keeps you focused and focused on choosing the most expressive compositions.

Nanna likes to shoot close to her subject, so she almost always works with Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM and RF 50mm F1.2L USM lenses. “I only need two lenses,” she says. “I prefer to work with prime lenses because they need to be mobile and work on composition more.”

Mike agrees that the two lenses are the perfect match. “The 35mm and 50mm focal lengths have always been popular with documentary and reportage makers because they provide a natural perspective,” he says. “The RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM lens is a reasonably compact and affordable option, and it also offers 5-stops of image stabilization for crisp handheld images.”

Best equipment for wedding photography

Carmen and Ingo Leitner, who photograph weddings in interesting locations, create photos and videos with cameras
Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 including action-packed images of people in motion. Mike explains why these cameras are ideal for capturing important events: “The EOS R5 and EOS R6 are extremely reliable, allowing you to focus on composing and capturing the right moment. ” Taken on camera
Canon EOS R6 with lens
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM and mount adapter
Canon EF-EOS R at 1/1600 sec, f/1.4 and ISO 160. © Carmen and Ingo Photography

Ingo recommends shooting weddings with fast 35mm and 50mm prime lenses, which can be used wide open if needed
separate the object from the background. Taken on camera
Canon EOS R6 with lens
Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM at 1/200 sec, f/1.4 and ISO 4000. © Carmen and Ingo Photography

Carmen and Ingo Leitner met on a beach in Italy in 2003. After meeting, they, lovers of travel and photography, began to save moments of family life and the marriage of their friends, after which, in 2009set up their own photography business.

The husband and wife team, who used to work as a technical engineer and makeup artist, have since photographed at weddings around the world – in the most striking and unexpected locations. They still have their first DSLR, the Canon EOS 350D (the next generation is now available: the Canon EOS 850D), but they are now working with the EOS R5 and EOS R6, regularly taking photos along with videos.

“The most important feature for us is the high-precision autofocus on the EOS R5 and EOS R6,” says Ingo. “Even when shooting wide open, the footage is extremely clear. Another benefit is their built-in Image Stabilization System (IBIS), which provides up to 8 stops of exposure with select lenses, eliminating the need for tripods and monopods.”

According to Ingo, the EOS R5 is definitely a great choice for those who plan to become a wedding photographer. “If you don’t need 45 MP files, the EOS R6 will definitely suit you,” he adds.

“The two main advantages of these cameras for wedding photography are face and eye tracking, as well as the silent shooting function, which allows you to photograph people discreetly, even in quiet environments, without drawing attention to yourself,” says Mike. “These are also hybrid cameras that support 8K RAW and 4K 120p video shooting on the EOS R5, and 4K UHD up to 60p on the EOS R6.”

Carmen and Ingo usually work with Canon EF 35mm f/1. 4L II USM, RF 50mm F1.2L USM, RF 85mm F1.2L USM and RF 28-70mm F2L USM lenses. For aspiring wedding photographers, Ingo recommends: “I suggest working with fast 35mm and 50mm models, especially the L-series, if you can afford them.”

“If you’re just starting out as a wedding photographer, a versatile zoom lens like the RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM will come in very handy. Such a lens allows you to create absolutely any image,” notes Mike. – Then you can buy an RF 50mm F1.8 STM or EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, that is, a faster and more compact model. Such a lens will allow you to create different images, such as using the maximum aperture to capture the main subject against a blurred background. With a zoom lens and a fast prime lens, you’ll be prepared for a variety of shooting situations.”

Whether your style of photography is fashion photography, portraiture, documentary photography, wedding photography or anything else, buying the right equipment is an investment in your future. Your professional adventures start here…

By David Clarke

  • Mirrorless Cameras

    EOS R

    A full-frame mirrorless camera that opens up new creative possibilities for photographers and videographers.

  • Mirrorless cameras

    EOS RP

    Compact, lightweight and easy to use full-frame mirrorless camera designed for travel and everyday shooting.

  • Mirrorless cameras

    EOS R6

    Whatever you shoot, the EOS R6 lets you unleash your creativity in new ways.

  • Lenses RF

    RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM

    Professional 24-70mm full-frame zoom lens for mirrorless cameras with fast aperture and 5-stop image stabilization.

  • Lenses for EOS R

    RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM

    Lightweight and versatile 24-105mm L-series zoom lens with f/4 aperture, fast and quiet autofocus, and an image stabilizer equivalent to 5 endurance steps.

  • Lenses RF

    RF 35mm F1.


    Fast 35mm macro lens with f/1.8 aperture, wide-angle perspective, close focusing distance and Hybrid IS.

  • Lenses for EOS R

    RF 50mm F1.2L USM

    A 50mm f/1.2 fixed lens that delivers stunning sharpness and performance even in low light.

  • Lenses for EOS R

    Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

    The standard EF-EOS R mount adapter allows you to easily attach EF and EF-S lenses to EOS R-series cameras without sacrificing quality or performance. Find out more.


    Best Student Printers

    Every student needs a printer – find out the best options for your needs.


    Set up your own home studio

    Explore creative ways to use flash and capture stunning portraits at no extra cost.


    EOS R50 and EOS R10

    We compare the key features and design features of the EOS R System cameras with the APS-C image sensor.

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    Differences between canon 17-85mm and 18-55mm


    March 11, 2014

    I was given a 450d with a canon 17-85mm lens, it has USM and image stabilization. I always thought this was normal, but after a few years I decided to upgrade to the 700d, which now comes with an 18-55mm lens. It has STM and also image stabilization.

    I’m most interested in the wide angle of the lens, so the extra 85-55 doesn’t do much for me, and the 18-17 is pretty close for me. However, I have noticed that the STM appears to be much quieter than the USM. Is this an STM update from USM or are they two different things?

    My question is, which one has better picture quality at the wide end? I’m also curious why, besides the fact that the 18-55 has a wider aperture, the 17-85 feels better. The feel I have in terms of industrial build quality feels less fragile. I also see that the end of the lens is over 60mm rather than the 52mm set lens or other introductory lenses like 55-250mm. Does this size have something to do with it?

    • lens
    • Canon
    • optics
    • lenses design
    • lens kit

    3 votes

    March 11, 2014

    STM and USM are different kinds of focus motors. Prior to STM, USM was the preferred option because it was fast and quiet (compared to other types of motors that are available). However, it’s not liquid that becomes a problem with videos. Enter the STM, which is also quiet (although I’m not sure which is quieter) and provides a smooth transition as it focuses rather than jerking back and forth. My understanding is that USM is still preferred for photos and STM for videos.

    In terms of image quality, if you have both lenses available and can’t tell the difference between the two pictures you take, does it matter? I would recommend looking at sites that cover this sort of thing, but Roger Cicala and Lensrentals.com recently compared a pair of lenses and noted that when testing at a wide angle, this should be done near the minimum focusing distance, which is not a typical use case for this focal length. distances. Try it yourself and use what you feel more comfortable with.

    1 vote

    March 11, 2014

    According to Photozone.de, the 17-85mm USM is often seen as an upgrade path from the base EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (non-STM) lens.

    Here are reviews of both lenses:

    • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS
    • Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS

    I don’t have any of these, you can compare their specs on DPReview.com, 17-85 is wider and has more reach, it also has a metal mount, overall it has a better build quality, but the new one is 18-55 The STM is lighter and features a new less noisy focus motor which is perfect for movies, it’s also brighter as you mentioned and has better image stabilization.

    1 vote

    R Hall
    March 11, 2014

    The current 18-55 IS is a very sharp lens. Optically outperforms 17-85 in overall range. Build quality isn’t as good, as is autofocus speed and accuracy.

    So 17-85 is an upgrade from 18-55, but not a big one. The best choice is 15-85.

    0 votes

    September 30, 2014

    It’s a rather difficult comparison, but essentially the EF-S 17-85 was an upgrade from the modern 18-55 kit lenses of its day (2004) – non-USM, non-IS first version.

    The IS STM version of the 18-55 lens, however, resembles the eighth version of this lens released in 2013, so it’s an amazing new design and probably performs pretty well compared to a decade older than the 17-85.

    That’s why the EF-S 15-85 IS USM came out in 2009.

    17-85 IS USM is the ‘s higher end lens than the 18-55. If you roughly group Canon lenses into low/medium/high levels, then 18-55 is for an entry-level consumer-level lens equipped with bodies. 17-85 is more in the mid range of lenses that Canon makes, which are usually characterized by a gold ring and USM. And the elite level are lenses with red rings L.

    None of this necessarily matters is a huge deal in terms of image quality (despite all the message board hype you’ll be reading), especially if you stop at f/8 and post-processing. Basically it’s build quality and ease of use. More max. apertures, easy-to-use manual focus rings, distance scales, USM or STM focus motor, stabilization, weather protection, internal zoom, AF range limit switches, and more exotic glass or corrective elements, etc.